Wednesday, March 3, 2010

In Retail Foodservice bold leadership is better than incremental management.

The pizza industry enjoyed unbounded success for years with each company known for its differentiated specialty! The differentiation ranged from 30 minute delivery times, to stuffed crust or pan pizza, online ordering or low price leader with regional players focusing on the community. Most were leveraging one and sometimes two attributes with limited success and year after year capitulating marketshare. None seemed to focus on the customer, how they were changing, core menu items or new players like Papa Murphy’s Take & Bake Pizza.

The price of cheese spiked, the consumer pulled back and one man stepped up to the challenge! David A. Brandon, Domino's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. The choice was clear; look at the big picture, address the over all problems and move forward or sit back and tweak things until the economy turns around. He took the first choice and the industry should be proud he did!

Recently he stated: "The bold steps we have been taking to re-ignite our domestic system helped us gain significant traction last year. We succeeded in our primary goal of growing traffic all four quarters of 2009. Traffic growth was the most significant in the fourth quarter; and this positive momentum has continued thus far in 2010, as sales and traffic have increased significantly since the launch of our new core pizza."

One time niche industry leader Pizza Hut can only counter with price point cuts. Industry managers who believe that during times of change incremental tweaks will provide long term positive results may be right. Only however if they think franchisee calling HQ demanding change is a good thing!

Rationalization and justification will not satisfy investors in today’s world. Strategy must replace reactionary tactics if long term success if the goal! Success does leave clues Papa Murphy’s and Domino’s read the clues better than many others.

Foodservice Solutions the global leader in the grocerant niche! Grocerant program assessments and brand or product positioning assistance available at Foodservice Solutions, Tacoma WA or leave a comment. Consumer Discontinuity


  1. QSR and food service in general is a very fast paced business environment. Bold leadership (like in retail) is critical to the success of any operation. Aggressive leaders that can identify trends or challenges and react quickly with solutions are the ones that will be the most successful. Those characteristics are even more important at the store or restaurant level.

  2. I can't agree more! It's interesting how many simply sit back however and watch.